Planned Parenthood advocates at Planned Parenthood Takes the Hill 2017.
The current administration and Congress have wasted no time attacking reproductive healthcare and rights. They've begun their attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and moved to defund Planned Parenthood.
The Tennessee General Assembly has doubled down on efforts to restrict a woman’s right to safe, legal abortion guaranteed by the U.S. Supreme in Roe v. Wade and equal access to affordable reproductive and sexual healthcare.
The three anti-abortion bills before the Tennessee General Assembly this legislative session included:
20-week abortion ban (status: No action taken)
SB 766/ HB 101, sponsored by Sen. Mae Beavers, Rep. Terri Weaver, would ban abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy. Nearly 99 percent of abortions occur before 21 weeks of pregnancy, but when abortions are needed later in pregnancy, it’s often in very complex circumstances — the kind of situations where a woman and her doctor need every medical option available.
6-week abortion ban (status: Rolled until 2018)
SB 244/HB 108, sponsored by Sen. Mae Beavers, Rep. James Van Huss, in effect, would ban abortion at six weeks of pregnancy by banning abortion if a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Ultrasound exams can routinely detect fetal heartbeats at six weeks of pregnancy. This bill is blatantly unconstitutional.
Open-ended abortion ban (status: Passed and signed into law by Governor Haslam)
SB 1180/HB 1189, sponsored by Sen. Joey Hensley, Rep. Matthew Hill, will change the definition of “viability” of a fetus in contradiction to current medical understanding, in effect, reducing the number of weeks at which a woman can legally have an abortion. The bill will also define a “medical emergency” more narrowly than current law and prohibit an abortion unless the strict new definition of “medical emergency” is met. The Attorney General issued an opinion calling the bill “constitutionally suspect” meaning it is likely unconstitutional and subject to litigation.